Stories and Music for All Eyes and Ears!
At The Secret Mountain, we create songs and stories for all eyes and ears. You could say that our small children’s press was founded at a garage sale. As Roland Stringer rummaged through a bin of old vinyl records on a bright sunny Saturday morning, an album by the celebrated Québécois songwriter-poet Gilles Vigneault sparked his imagination. With a splash of colour and a dash of storytelling, these timeless tunes could sing to a new generation, he thought. And so, our first musical picture book, Un trésor dans mon jardin (A Treasure in My Garden), was born.
Alongside our French imprint La montagne secrète, since 2000, we have published more than 80 award-winning titles that celebrate the creativity that occurs when authors, musicians, and illustrators come together. But no two collaborations are alike. Sometimes an inspiring narrative like Summer Moonlight Concert by Chinese author-illustrator Han Han sets the stage for music. In other cases, playful tunes provide the starting place for imaginative tales like Christiane Duchesne’s A Picnic in the Sun. Collections like Children’s Africana Book Award winner Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Coconut Trees unify oral traditions around a region, while Down at the Sea Hotel gathers lullabies under a theme.
The Secret Mountain has always been a meeting place for cultures, artistic styles, and backgrounds. Our Montreal-based publishing house has welcomed an array of artists through its doors, including Governor General Award-winning playwright Tomson Highway and renowned music educator Ana Gerhard. Spanning several genres, musicians include acclaimed singer-songwriters Eliza Gilkyson, Guy Davis, Connie Kaldor, Karen Young, Clerel, Martha Wainwright, and Patrick Watson, alongside instrumentalists such as pipa master Liu Fang, veteran kora player Zal Idrissa Sissokho and highly-esteemed chamber orchestra I Musici de Montréal. Poetic illustrations by celebrated visual artists such as Marie-Louise Gay, Stéphane Jorisch, and Magali Attiogbé, inspire young readers to discover original stories from all over the world.
Our children’s press remains proudly independent and committed to sharing music and stories across cultures and generations. We believe that libraries and bookstores provide an essential playground for a child’s imagination and encourage our readers and listeners to support their local literary communities.
We acknowledge the financial support of Musicaction, FACTOR, the Government of Canada, the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), and the Government of Québec.